Quibi to roll out in days: short streaming video from the stars


There’s a new streaming video option in town and the launch date is quickly approaching for Quibi, which CNET describes as a “star-packed, mobile-only streaming service.”


Reporting by Joan Solsman today shows that Quibi is due to launch April 6 across the U.S. and Canada.


As for how this streaming media service differs from competitors, there are two main takeaways from what we’ve already heard about Quibi – first, it’s comprised of shorter videos and episodes, hence its name derived from the phrase “quick bites,” and it’s got a heavy celebrity lineup. Actually, there’s one more – as a “mobile-only” platform Quibi focuses on smartphone users, a target audience that skews young. Quibi spokespeople have put forward the idea that they may inject more big-screen capability into the platform if users want it, promoting the general idea of “watercooler” crowdsourcing – the company has indicated it will be listening to what users want in making decisions about programming and more.


While Solsman notes that Quibi was intended to be a service for on-the-go users, it’s evident that the short-form video offerings will still be attractive to people with nowhere to go … which is now most of us, barring safety-oriented grocery runs or emergency errands.


Launching in the middle of COVID-19 might not be the best scenario for any new service, but on the other hand, considering the recent success of companies like Zoom, Quibi could be well positioned to profit from the new reality that we’re living in.


To do well, Quibi will have to contend with Disney+, Apple TV and HBO, as well as Netflix and other choices, including YouTube, which gives you all of its short-form programming for free (excepting the extra stuff belatedly packed into YouTube Premium)


To sweeten the deal for some users, Quibi will be available in a 90-day free trial version to T-Mobile subscribers. This kind of co-branding and partnership is often a way to jump-start user volume in the initial rollout of a service.


So if you like to consume your video in bite-sized chunks, you might be interested in checking this out next week when Quibi enters the “production environment” – offerings include “Most Dangerous Game,” a neo-dystopian take on a traditional scare story, and murder mystery “When the Streetlights Go On,” as well as “Chrissy’s Court” with Chrissy Teigen, and a documentary produced by Lebron James. Check it out.